Rep. La Shawn Ford says he was targeted by prosecutors

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The Chicago Tribune reports that state Rep. La Shawn Ford has filed a motion in his federal court case accusing prosecutors of indicting him on bank fraud charges because he’s an African-American politician.

The Austin legislator asks U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer to dismiss the charges against him, saying authorities singled him out for prosecution for political reasons.

Ford also alleges prosecutors decided not to charge anyone else involved with the 2010 collapse of ShoreBank — a longtime inner-city lender where prosecutors say Ford obtained loans fraudulently.

“Ford was charged in 2012 with fraudulently obtaining $373,500 in advances from a line of credit at ShoreBank to rehabilitate six depressed real estate properties on the West Side. The indictment alleged Ford used some of that money to pay off personal expenses, including car loans, credit cards, mortgages, campaign costs and payments to a Hammond casino,” Tribune reporter Jason Meisner writes.

The case is set to go to trial in August.

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